August 6th, 2015

JFK’s Garand to Be Sold at Auction in September

M1 Garand CMP Rifle JFK John F. Kennedy President

A very special M1 Garand is going up for auction this September. President John F. Kennedy’s M1 Garand rifle, obtained from the CMP in 1959, will be auctioned by the Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC) as part of RIAC’s September Premiere Auction. RIAC believes JFK’s Garand will fetch from $50,000 to $100,000 at auction.

President Kennedy obtained the M1 Garand in 1959 while he was serving as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. “Since this rifle was issued to Senator Kennedy in 1959, well before he was elected to the Office of the President of the United States, this rifle could very well have accompanied him directly into the White House,” RIAC stated.

The auction house included a thank-you letter from JFK himself: “Colonel John K. Lee, Jr. has told me of the time and care which you took to accuratize [sic] and test fire the National Match M1 rifle, which I recently purchased. I do want to express my appreciation for your interest and attention in this matter and I am looking forward with pleasure to having an opportunity to use the rifle.”

The rifle is in like-new condition: “Excellent overall with 99% of the original hand polished and blued finish still remaining with just some minor wear on the right side receiver rail, from the limited test firing it has seen. The stock and handguard set are all in mint condition with 99% of the original hand rubbed finish/sealer with no handling marks or dings, with just visible cartouches.”

Writing for, Daniel Xu says this rifle had a special history: “At the time the DCM, the predecessor of today’s Civilian Marksmanship Program, issued rifles based on a lottery system, selling a few hundred to a few thousand firearms annually. According to the RIAC, Kennedy’s rifle came from the Erie Ordnance Depot in Port Clinton and was actually a rifle made late in the M1 Garand’s production lifetime. The Type 1 National Match M1 Garand then received a VIP treatment from a gunsmith attached to an Army marksmanship unit, Master Sergeant Raymond E. Parkinson. Parkison adjusted the trigger, added a glass-bedding compound to the recoil shoulders of the stock, and blued many of the metal parts.”

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